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I have been reading your posts for a long time, just not a big "poster" myself.
I just thought I would chime in on this point that you make re. the
money manager having other agendas. You are absolutely correct on this,
and no you are not "being to hard on money managers".

To be balanced, I can make a case the other way.
I think we can all agree that Mr Buffett is pretty good at capital
allocation, company valuation, knowledge of Berkshire, and a feel for
what constitutes a good margin of safety. We should do our own homework,
but starting from hints from Mr Buffett isn't entirely a waste of time
if it's a topic involving all of those skills.

If his assessment was that 1.1x book was a good enough margin of safety
to constitute "definitely undervalued with room to spare",
we can probably believe him. 1.15x or 1.2x or 1.25x might also
be good enough, but we can be pretty sure that 1.1x definitely was.

We all know that the fair price/book value for Berkshire should be
rising slowly over time, but of course we didn't expect a change in the
threshold any time soon. With the buyback number changed to 1.2x, the
number Mr Buffett has prominently declaimed as "definitely cheap enough" is now higher.
With "definitely cheap enough to give a margin of error and margin of
safety" moved up, we the unwashed onlookers can reasonably reconsider
what ranges of price/book now constitute "fair value" and "moderately underpriced".
In short, it would not be nonsensical to adjust our expectations for
those to be a bit higher than they were before as well. So, though the
company is not worth any more to a well informed observer, investors
who are mere humans might reasonably be expected to have higher valuation
multiples in mind for "cheap" and "fair", and (importantly) this adjustment of
attitudes came pretty directly from the guy who probably knows best.
It's unlikely in the extreme that this was an unforeseen consequence of the change:
Mr Buffett wants us to understand that higher multiples make sense.

So, one could conclude that Mr Tilson's purchases were sensible to the
extent that the announcement might rationally colour one's estimate of
fair value, including his. Maybe the attitude should have changed more
for uninformed observers than for a prominent professional valuer of
BRK like Mr Tilson, but an adjustment isn't crazy.

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